Smith convicted in Dalton trailer kidnapping and sexual assault case

DALTON, Georgia (WDEF) – A jury convicts the final suspect in sexual assault  case from two years ago in which the victim was held captive in a trailer in Dalton before she finally escaped.

53 year old Richard Marvin Smith was convicted of rape and attempted kidnapping.

And now officials are releasing details on what happened on March 30,2019.

Prosecutors Mark Higgins says “The victim readily acknowledged making some really bad choices leading up to her assault, but in light of everything, this verdict acknowledges that justice has to be blind for all.”

They say she and another woman, Amy Jones, had been on a meth binge for several days.

That led them to the trailer Shirley Way where they took more drugs.

Jone’s ex-boyfriend was there, and he thought he recognized the victim as a police informant that helped send him to prison years before.

So the group held her against her will why they tried to figure out if she was still informing.

When the two ringleaders left the trailer, Richard Forrest forced the victim to perform acts of sodomy and sexual intercourse with him, and then encouraged Smith to do the same.

Eventually, she managed to escape the trailer and ran to a McDonald’s for help.

Amy Jones and two other people in the trailer testified against Smith.

Richard Forrest has already pleaded guilty to aggravated sodomy and is serving 30 years.

“This was one of the most difficult cases I have handled in my 25 year career as a prosecutor.  Sexual assault cases are among the most difficult cases to successfully prosecute and that difficulty was enhanced in this case by the unlawful activities and histories of those who testified in this case” concludes Higgins.

“I am extremely pleased that the jury was able to sort through all that was presented and render a verdict that acknowledged that justice cannot exist solely for those who always make the right decisions in life.”ount of the events including Smith asking her to take the victim who was in the bathroom a rag after the sexual assault had occurred.  Burk and Lowe both testified Smith admitted in their presence to having sexual intercourse with the victim.

 

Richard Forrest was not called by either the State or defense as a witness and is currently serving a 30 year sentence, including 12 years without the possibility of parole for the offense of aggravated sodomy of the victim in this case.  He pled guilty and was sentenced on September 20, 2019.

 

Forrest, Smith and Lowe were not well known by the victim and a significant break in solving the case occurred around 1:00 am on April 3, 2019 when the victim was given information that her vehicle that Jones had taken the night of the assault was located at the Walmart parking on East Walnut.  When Whitfield County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at Walmart to meet with the victim, she saw Forrest and Lowe in the parking lot of McDonald’s and point them out as being involved in the assault a couple days prior.

 

The encounter at McDonald’s led to a key piece of evidence presented in the trial against Smith, which was a statement recorded on the body camera of a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Deputy that accompanied Detective Dewayne Holmes to Smith’s residence to talk with him about the incident.  During that interview, Smith admitted knowledge that the victim was being held against her will and “tortured”  While at first denying sexual intercourse then admitted intercourse with the victim and made several inconsistent statements included some suggesting it was consensual, others suggesting it was not consensual and still others suggesting he was forced to have intercourse with the victim.  While being questioned by Detective Holmes, Smith repeatedly denied remembering making the statement “I don’t want to do this but I have to” to the victim before ultimately admitting that he made that statement.

 

Smith faces a sentence of 25 years to life on the rape charge with the possibility of life without parole plus an additional one-to-ten years on the attempted kidnapping charge.

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